It does not pay to break a trust...

LanH, [email protected] | .

ON the early morning of Friday May1st, I badly needed some cash fast enough to unable me to catch the early express bus to Kuala Lumpur to join the anti-GST (goods and services tax) rally. Almost all my savings are in 'Tabung Haji' (Pilgrims Fund) which can only be withdrawn either at the counters of 'Tabung Haji' or by using Bank Islam's ATMs.

Since I was in a rush and realizing that Bank Islam's ATM was nowhere near my housing area; without much thinking I 'snatched' four RM50 notes trashed inside a 'Tabung Haji' account book belonging to my 13 year old daughter and with that money I was off to Kuala Lumpur.

My daughter puts her trust in me; she hands to me whatever monies she receives from relatives and the savings from her pocket money for me to bank them into her account but I had not done that for a long time - leaving some RM600 in the pages of the account book.

Well, I just took RM200...but what a grave mistake I had made - I did not put in the 'niat' (intention) to pay it back. On the way back when I had reached Melaka at about 11:30pm, it came across my mind to stop at a Bank Islam premise to withdraw some money to cater for my family needs.

At the ATM, after checking the balance of my money in 'Tabung Haji', I confidently pushed the button for a withdrawal of RM1,300. The machine was slightly slow; I waited patiently but no money was issued but out came a receipt with the word 'Transaksi tidak berjaya' (Transaction failed).

I moved to the next ATM, and upon checking the balance in my account, I was stunned and shocked - my money was RM1,300 short. Perhaps the first 'machine' I approached had no more money in it thus when I requested for a withdrawal, it was turned down but the 'question' is why RM1,300 was deducted from my account!

It was getting very late; I had no choice but to go home with a heavy heart. During the ride home, I thought perhaps I would make a report to the bank the following day...but I kept on thinking of how to  since most offices would only be open on Tuesday, that was on May 5th.

At home after cleaning myself and getting ready to sleep, 'some positive whispers' came knocking into my heart. "Hi brother, please cheer up, your problem is nothing, you only lost RM1,300. Imagine if you were destined to lose all your savings if the computer were to wipe out all the figures from your account? So, 'cool down', losing RM1,300 is nothing, God had fated it on you to test whether you have the endurance and patience to face it.

"Hi brother, losing RM1,300 is nothing compared to those who have been tested with more difficult situations such as their houses getting burnt down or washed away in floods. It is nothing compared to those who have lost their loved ones and of course it is nothing compared to the day when you are called by the Lord - you have to leave everything and bring nothing with you inside your grave.

"And another thing, do not forget what you did in the morning. You broke the trust of your daughter. You ‘took’ RM200 from 'her account' and this is a lesson for you. You 'run away' with RM200 and now you lose RM1,300. So please return the money you have taken."

Before closing my eyes, I promised to pay back immediately the RM200 I had taken from my daughters' account and then I could feel the calmness in me; I fell into a deep sleep, only to wake up at 4.00 am the next morning...

Breaking a 'small trust' made my day a miserable one, and then what could be said about people especially leaders who have to carry out heavy responsibilities on their heads. Regarding monies, that were trusted upon them not a small amount of it such as hundreds of ringgits such as in my case but billions and billions of ringgits.

For example in the goods and services tax (GST) case, the Malaysian Royal Customs Department (JKDM), is expected to collect RM23 billion in revenue until the end of the year. Its director, Dato' Seri Khazali Ahmad was also quoted saying that up to last April 30th, JKDM had collected RM1.3 billion in GST revenue from imported goods.

The people had put their trust on the country's leaders and it is up to them to use the billions and billions of ringgits in 'good ways'. The monies are from the people and it should go back to the people; every one of them regardless of their race, religion, background and politically inclination.  But is this trait practiced by our leaders?

Talking about trust, every Muslim should be 'trustworthy'. In a 'hadith' the Prophet (peace be upon him - s.a.w.) said: “Every one of you is a guardian and everyone will be asked about his subjects. The Imam (leader) is a guardian. He will be asked about his subjects. A man is the guardian of the persons in his household. He is answerable about them. A woman is the guardian of her husband's house. She will be asked about her responsibility. The servant is the guardian of the articles of his master. He is answerable about this responsibility of his." (Imam Bukhari)

Hazrat Anas narrates that whenever Allah's Messenger s.a.w. addressed them, he invariably repeated this sentence: “The man has no faith who cannot keep trust and the man who does not respect his promises has no religion.”

There is also another sense of trust, and that is: everything should be placed at its proper and deserving place. An office or a post should be offered only to the deserving person; and responsibility should be given only to that person who is able to shoulder it and who has the capability to do justice to the trust placed in him.

Hazrat Abu Zar reports that he asked the Prophet whether he would not make him a governor somewhere. Hearing this the Prophet tapped his shoulder and said: “O Abu Zar! You are weak, and this responsibility is a trust. On the Day of Judgment it will be a cause of loss of honour and ignominy. However, those people will be spared who will have accepted it with all its responsibilities and would have fulfilled whatever responsibilities they had in this connection.” (Imam Muslim) - ES

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